As you may have read previously, Love was in a serious car accident the morning of Friday, August 1st on his way to work. He had a sudden, catastrophic brake failure and, unable to stop or swerve enough, he collided with the minivan in front of him at about 40-45mph. He came out of the accident bruise and battered but unbroken. Sadly, the Honda Element suffered worse and was deemed a total loss.
My car is much older – a ’99 Grand Am – and while it’s perfectly fine for the small, around town trips I use it for, it wasn’t up to the task of being our only car. Especially given Love’s 30 minute commute each way everyday. So a frantic hunt for a replacement car was on!
Since our settlement for the Element wasn’t enough to buy a new car, we first contacted my credit union, Achieva to discuss financing options. We were able to get pre-approved for a loan in just a few days.
Given that I do art shows/craft fairs for my jewelry business, PhoenixFire Designs, we needed some kind of SUV. Didn’t want anything massive, but it had to be able to fit my tables, tent, and stock easily. A hatchback and fold down rear seats with a minimum length and width requirements were mandatory. Problem was, we didn’t even know what was out there! We had been happy with the Element and really hadn’t paid any attention to vehicles we might want to purchase for years!
We spent hours just walking car lots, looking at one make and model after the other. Opening doors, measuring cargo area, taking in the aesthetics and features. Love kept being drawn towards the Nissan Rogue but the first place we went to, it was well outside our budget. Later though, my sister sent me a link on autotrader.com for one with excellent mileage right in our budget.
My Mom and I went to test drive it during the day while Love was at work. I was impressed. It was absolutely immaculate on the inside! Looked literally brand new. 2011, one owner car, 22,800 miles on it. Love and I came back the following day, negotiated and wound up driving it home. We bought the car Thursday, August 7th! (Then it rained for days preventing me from getting any non-soggy pics. LOL)
We love it. It’s so nice. And so…new! 😉 It drives really nice and it’s very exciting to have such a “grown up” car. Love and I are still trying to believe it’s ours and not just a rental or something. Seems too nice!
Of course, with a new car comes a car payment. Unfortunately as I said, our payout for the Element wasn’t enough for a replacement. We used the money as a downpayment though and were able to finance the rest. My loan officer at Achieva was amazing and stayed until 7:15pm so we could drive it home that evening!
She sent us our loan documents via email and Love and I signed for them on our phones!! since she was in another city from us at the dealership. I laughed because it’s definitely the future when you can buy a car, signing with your finger on the touchscreen of your cell!
I admit, I’m a bit nervous adding in this new expense to our monthly bills. It definitely wasn’t something we had planned for. But, it was a necessity and we’ll make it work. (I joked with Love that now we need to put the SUV to good use and book more shows so it can work for it’s payment. Heh)
I’m still sad that we had to say goodbye to the Element. It was such a fun car and we had so many good times in it. It’s a shock to lose it so quickly – especially when the decision is taken from you. But, I’m happy that we were able to find something we both are happy about and that Love is so thrilled with it too. Makes the transition a little easier.
I look forward to many more adventures and new memories in our Rogue!